Speed a key factor in crash that killed Red Deer teenager

The crash that killed a Red Deer teenager would have been a near miss if the offending vehicle had not been speeding, an expert witness testified at trial on Friday.

The crash that killed a Red Deer teenager would have been a near miss if the offending vehicle had not been speeding, an expert witness testified at trial on Friday.

Rodney Ross Arens, 36, is being tried in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on criminal charges laid after a 2004 Dodge pickup heading north on Taylor Drive struck a southbound 2001 Honda Civic that was attempting to turn left onto Kerry Wood Drive on the evening of July 1, 2010.

Earlier witnesses testified to the large number of pedestrians using the intersection on their way to Bower Ponds to watch the fireworks, which were just about to start.

Anouluck “Jeffrey” Chanminaraj, 13, was killed in the impact. His older sister and brother, Stephanie and Jamie, were both injured. Stephanie, 20 at the time, was driving the car. Jamie, 18, was in the back while Jeffrey was in the front passenger seat.

Arens is charged with dangerous driving causing death, impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing injury, impaired driving causing injury and breaching release conditions.

Crown prosecutor Robin Snider advised Justice Kirk Sisson when court opened on Friday that she and second-counsel Wayne Silliker had stayed three counts of refusing to provide breath samples to crash investigators. The stay means the charges can be revisited at a later date, but are dismissed if not addressed within one year.

Snider called only one witness on Friday ­— Cpl. Donavan Gulak, a collision analyst and reconstructionist with Red Deer City RCMP.

She asked Gulak to address a report created by fellow reconstructionist Cpl. Gordon Baker (retired), who was unable to attend court for medical reasons.

Baker had determined that the truck was travelling at 79 km/h while the car was at 27 km/h at the point of collision, near the centre of the intersection.

There were no skid marks to indicate that either driver had attempted to brake before the impact, said Gulak, who worked with Baker on the report.

Travelling at 60 km/h, the truck would have taken one second longer to reach the intersection, giving the car enough time to get out of the way before it reached the impact point, said Gulak.

“Based on that one second, that collision would not take place,” he said.

Gouges in the pavement show the exact point of impact, while various other marks show how both vehicles spun clockwise before coming to rest. The impact was violent enough to tear the tire off the truck’s front right wheel, he said.

Evidence from the scene does not provide enough information to indicate whether either vehicle sped up or slowed down immediately before the collision, said Gulak.

While both vehicles were equipped with black boxes that monitor speed, braking and other vehicle information, neither vehicle had the type of system that would enable investigators to extract those details, said Gulak. The black boxes are part of the vehicle’s airbag system, he said.

Effective this year, all new vehicles must have black boxes that record what is going on during the final five to eight seconds before airbags are deployed, he said.

The only non-media member of the public to attend the trial on Friday, Stephanie Chanminaraj sat quietly in the gallery behind the Crown prosecutor with a box of tissues on the chair beside her.

She and Jamie both testified a week earlier.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Trains no longer blow leading up to the controlled crossing at 49th Avenue in Innisfail. (Photo contributed by the Town of Innisfail)
Innisfail says goodbye to train whistles

Whistles eliminated at four crossings

Red Deer College has been upgrading roofing, mechanical control systems, and lighting with $13 million in capital maintenance funding from the province. (Photo by Advocate staff)
$13 million in maintenance work underway at Red Deer College

Projects improve teaching, learning, and working spaces

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waits to take his seat at the EU-Canada Summit Monday June 14, 2021 in Brussels, Belgium. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau to visit Pfizer on final day of international pandemic trip, begin quarantine

WTO looks at making it easier for developing countries to import expertise, equipment and ingredients for vaccines

Houses under construction in Toronto on Friday, June 26, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CMHC says annual pace of housing starts rose 3.2 per cent in May compared with April

Starts for apartments, condos and other multiple-unit housing projects rose

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2013 file photo, customers leave an IKEA store in Plaisir, west of Paris. A French court has ordered home furnishings giant Ikea to pay more than $1.2 million in fines and damages Tuesday, June 15, 2021 over a campaign to spy on union representatives. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, FIle)
Ikea fined $1.3 million over spying campaign in France

Convicted of receiving personal data obtained through fraudulent means in a habitual way

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Opinion
Opinion: Governments should come together to collaborate paid sick leave in Canada

If we let our guard down, COVID-19 is highly transmissible and will… Continue reading

Finnish players celebrate with their fans after the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark, Saturday, June 12, 2021. Finland won 1-0. (Friedemann Vogel/Pool via AP)
Finland plays Russia with Euro 2020 knockout stage in reach

Finns played in their first ever game at a major soccer tournament

Scotland’s Allan Dell (1) is tackled by Canada’s Matt Heaton (7) and Lucas Rumball (6) during first half action of men’s international rugby in Edmonton, Alta., on June 9, 2018. Heaton, of Rugby ATL, Ben LeSage and Lucas Rumball, both of the Toronto Arrows, will co-captain Canada next month for rugby test matches in Wales and England. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canada names 30-man roster for July rugby internationals against Wales, England

July test marks the first games for Canadian men since October 2019 at the Rugby World Cup

Montreal’s Deanna Bowen, seen in an undated handout photo, has won the $50,000 annual Scotiabank Photography Award. Award organizers say Bowen’s family history has been a central part of her work since the early 1990s. She’s descended from Alabama and Kentucky-born Black Prairie pioneer families from the central Alberta communities of Amber Valley and Campsie. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Courtesy of the artist
Montreal’s Deanna Bowen wins $50,000 Scotiabank Photography Award

Bowen to receive solo exhibition at 2022 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival

Treena Mielke
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) blocks a shot by Vegas Golden Knights left wing William Carrier (28) during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday in Las Vegas. (Photo by The Associated Press)
Canadiens take 4-1 loss to Vegas Golden Knights in Stanley Cup semifinal opener

Golden Knights 4 Canadiens 1 (Las Vegas leads series 1-0) LAS VEGAS… Continue reading

Philadelphia 76ers' coach Doc Rivers yells to his players during the first half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Monday, June 14, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Young leads Hawks’ rally past Sixers with Embiid hurting

Hawks 103 76ers 100 ATLANTA — Trae Young overcame a cold start… Continue reading

Most Read